It was just an average summer day in Himmarshee, Fla. — so hot the hens were laying hard-boiled eggs — when my middle daughter Mace broke the news.
”Prepare yourself, Mama. You are not going to like the title of the latest book.”
“Wouldn’t be the first time,” I said, fanning myself with a menu and muffler price list from Juan’s Auto Repair and Taco Shop. “What kind of slander has Miss Snippy Author come up with this time?”
Just then, Mace’s phone rang. She mouthed, ”It’s Carlos,” and raised a finger for me to wait.
Judging by the smile lighting her face, there seemed to be a chance my last unmarried daughter would finally find happiness with her hunky police detective beau. At least that’s how it looked at this particular millisecond.
As Mace chatted with Carlos Martinez, I swatted mosquitoes and blotted my Apricot Ice lipstick, waiting to find out how upset I should be. My feelings about ”Author” Deborah Sharp are well known in our slice of middle Florida, north of Lake Okeechobee and south of Holopaw. It’s common knowledge she mines my life for fascinating tidbits, and then passes them off as fiction. Do I ever get credit? No! And every single one of Miss Fancy Pants’ titles ends up making me look bad. It goes all the way back to the first book, MAMA DOES TIME.
How’s that for character assassination? If you read that one, you know the murder charges were nothing but a misunderstanding. I scooted in and out of the slammer so fast, my dark roots hardly had time to sprout. Still, Hair Today Dyed Tomorrow beauty parlor was one of my first stops once I got sprung.
Just thinking about the new book was making me madder than a sack of cut snakes. I coughed to get Mace’s attention, and then gave her the wrap-it-up sign. She cupped the cell phone to her chin and turned her back. I poked her between the shoulders and chanted ”The title? The title?” a few times until she finally hung up.
“Fine!” she said. “It’s about that night you had too much pink wine and tossed Sal’s wedding ring out with the garbage.”
That’d be Sal Provenza, my fifth — and final — husband. If you want to read all the cheap shots Ms. Sharp took at my checkered marital history, that’d be Book No. 3, titled MAMA GETS HITCHED.
I steeled myself. “So, what’s the name of this fifth one?”
“Mama Gets Trashed,” Mace said.
See what I mean? Slander! I was barely even tipsy; not even close to trashed. Of course, the search for the ring Sal gave me led to all kinds of mayhem. Even aside from the murder, there were some sexual shenanigans that had half of Himmarshee blusher pinker than my favorite sweet wine. As usual, Mace and I were right in the thick of things. Everything started as we were picking through trash piles at the country dump . . .
Deborah is giving away one (1) copy of MAMA GETS TRASHED. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. Contest ends September 10; US entries only.
Meet the author
Deborah Sharp writes about a sweet-tea-and-barbecue slice of Florida in her funny, Southern-flavored Mace Bauer Mysteries. Think Janet Evanovich, if Stephanie Plum had a couple of cousins named Bubba. A former USA Today reporter, Deborah is married to Kerry Sanders of NBC News. They live in Fort Lauderdale, where Deborah spends her spare time trying to keep the iguanas out of the hibiscus. Mama Gets Trashed is her fifth book, published by Midnight Ink. Visit her online at www.DeborahSharp.com or read an excerpt from TRASHED, here: www.mamagetstrashed.com
Books are available at retail and online booksellers.